Category Archives: Imperialism

Choose One, But Only One: Defend the Billionaire’s Bubble or the U.S. Dollar and Empire, by Charles Hugh Smith

The dollar and empire come first. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

The Empire is striking back, protecting what really counts, and the Billionaire Bubble sideshow is folding its tents.

One of the most enduring conceits of the modern era is that the Federal Reserve acts to goose growth and therefore employment while keeping inflation moderate (whatever that means–the definition is adjustable). This conceit is extremely handy as PR cover: the Fed really, really cares about little old us and expanding our ballooning wealth.

Nice, except it doesn’t. The Fed’s one real job is defending the U.S. dollar, which is the foundation of America’s global hegemony a.k.a. The Empire.

One thing and one thing alone enables global dominance: being able to create “money” out of thin air and use that “money” to buy real stuff in the real world. The nations that can create “money” out of thin air and trade it for magnesium, oil, semiconductors, etc. have an unbeatable advantage over nations that must actually mine gold or make something of equal value to trade for essentials.

The trick is to maintain global confidence in one’s currency. There is no one way to manage this, as confidence in a herd animal such as human beings is always contingent. Once the herd gets skittish, all bets are off.

The herd is exquisitely sensitive to movements on the edge of the herd, where threats arise. There are various tricks one can deploy to maintain confidence: pay a higher rate of interest on bonds denominated in one’s currency, so global capital flows into your currency; treat this capital well with a transparent set of tax laws and judiciary / regulatory oversight, maintain a deep pool of liquidity so capital can enter and exit without stampeding the herd, and having at least a semi-productive, diverse economy that generates goods, services and income streams to support the currency.

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America’s Attila the Hun moment, by Simon Black

Empires are made to expire. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

In the year 435 AD, after several years of endless menacing from the nomadic Hun tribe, the Roman Empire was ready to make a deal.

The Huns were fairly new on the continent; they had originally come from central Eurasia as recently as 370 AD. Yet in the span of a few short decades, they quickly established themselves as the dominant tribe in Eastern Europe, conquering vast territories and threatening the Roman Empire.

The Empire was a pitiful shell of its former self at that point. So Emperor Theodosius II sent one of his generals to meet with the Huns in the city of Margus, now called Pozarevac in modern day Serbia.

The leader of the Huns was a short, flat-nosed warrior in his mid 30s named Attila who famously remained on his horse during the entire meeting with the Roman envoys.

Attila was cunning, and he knew the Romans were weak. So he intentionally made ridiculous demands.

Among them, he told the Romans he would leave them alone if they paid a tribute of 700 pounds of gold per year (worth about $13.3 million in today’s money).

This was a significant sum back then, especially given that the Roman Empire had lost its most productive gold mines in Hispania to the Visigoths and Vandals in the early 400s.

(The region of Andalusia in modern Spain is actually named for the Vandal tribe, derived from the Arabic word al-Andalus.)

In addition to the money, though, Attila also demanded that the Romans could not enter into any alliance with any other tribes if the Huns deemed them to be a threat.

In making this demand, Attila was essentially giving himself control of Rome’s foreign policy and military affairs.

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Meta Censors Anti-Imperialist Speech In Obedience To The US Government, by Caitlin Johnstone

The tech giants are propaganda arms of the U.S. government. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

Anti-imperialist commentator Richard Medhurst reports that Instagram has deleted some 20 images from his account and given him a warning that he could face a permanent ban if he continues making similar posts. The posts in question are screenshots from a Twitter thread Medhurst made to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the Trump administration’s assassination of renowned Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani.

Go ahead and read the thread; here’s the hyperlink again. There’s nothing in there that comes anywhere remotely close to violating Instagram’s terms of service as they are written; Medhurst condemns the assassination and the bogus justifications provided for it, and discusses Soleimani’s crucial role in the fight against ISIS and Al Qaeda. The reason for Instagram’s censorship of Medhurst’s political speech is that Instagram’s parent company Meta (then called Facebook) determined after Soleimani’s assassination that anything which seems supportive of him constitutes a violation of US sanctions and must therefore be removed.

In 2019 the Trump administration designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, which was as hypocritical and arbitrary as any other government designating any other branch of another government’s military a terrorist organization. Despite this completely baseless designation, both the Meta-owned social media platforms Facebook and Instagram have been actively censoring political speech about Soleimani, who was the commander of the IRGC’s Quds force when he was assassinated. Medhurst reports that he has been censored on Instagram under the same justification for posting about Hamas as well.

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January 2022: A Game Changing Moment Between Russia, America and the World, by Tim Kirby

Vladimir Putin’s ultimatum concerning NATO’s encroachment dispels the illusion of the American empire. From Tim Kirby at strategic-culture.org:

What Moscow is really asking for is to redraw the borders of influence between Russia and the West.

One of the most frequently asked questions about U.S.-Russian relations over the last few years has been “have we hit rock bottom?”. No matter how bad things seem, about every six months a few Congressmen with questionable motivations come up with a new pack of sanctions or other threats to make the situation get just a bit worse. After many years of this it seems as though there is always room for relations to somehow plummet even further down the dank shaft they are in. However, Washington may have run out of ideas and threats as both sides of Cold War 2.0 are set to meet around January 10th right after the holiday season in Russia officially ends to build a solid mutually approved deal so that hopefully U.S.-Russian relations can finally be exposed to daylight again.

Image: Comically bad relations between nuclear powers are still a great danger even after the Cold War.

From a Russian standpoint there is finally some cause for optimism due to the fact that they have chosen a logical hardline position and yet Washington, understanding it, has still agreed to discuss it. Although American diplomats and politicians (like those in many countries) are very skilled at nodding their heads for a couple hours then just doing whatever the hell the want to give the illusion of sticking out an olive branch, this time the Russian position is so clear cut that if it were completely off the table Washington wouldn’t even bother participating. They would be more likely to throw a PR hissyfit via the Mainstream Media accusing the Russians of X,Y, and Z, than listen to a position they find revolting for hours of negotiations. Essentially, the American side at least humoring Russia’s demands is a positive step for sure.

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Exit Nord Stream 2, Enter Power of Siberia 2, by Pepe Escobar

Russia, turning towards Asia, can survive without Europe. From Pepe Escobar at strategic-culture.org:

Military superpower Russia, having had enough of U.S./NATO bullying, is now dictating the terms of a new arrangement.

Coming straight from President Putin, it did sound like a bolt from the sky:

“We need long-term legally binding guarantees even if we know they cannot be trusted, as the U.S. frequently withdraws from treaties that become uninteresting to them. But it’s something, not just verbal assurances.”

And that’s how Russia-U.S. relations come to the definitive crunch – after an interminable series of polite red alerts coming from Moscow.

Putin once again had to specify that Russia is looking for “indivisible, equitable security” – a principle established since Helsinki in 1975 – even though he no longer sees the U.S. as a dependable “partner”, that diplomatically nicety so debased by the Empire since the end of the USSR.

The “frequently withdrawing from treaties” passage can easily be referred to as Washington in 2002 under Bush Jr. pulling out of the ABM treaty signed between the U.S. and the USSR in 1972. Or it could be referred to as the U.S. under Trump destroying the JCPOA signed with Iran and guaranteed by the UN. Precedents abound.

Putin was once again exercising the Taoist patience so characteristic of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: explaining the obvious not only to a Russian but also a global audience. The Global South may easily understand this reference; “When international law and the UN Charter interfere, they [the U.S.] declare it all obsolete and unnecessary.”

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US Hegemony Doesn’t Make The World More Peaceful, It Makes It More Dangerous, by Caitlin Johnstone

Stupidity and braggadocio are dangerous, and the U.S. government has been exhibiting both in spades. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

A Republican senator who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee stated on a Tuesday Fox News appearance that he strongly supports keeping US military action on the table if Russia invades Ukraine, up to and including a first-use nuclear attack.

“I would not rule out military action,” Senator Roger Wicker told Fox News host Neil Cavuto. “I think we start making a mistake when we take options off the table. So I would hope the president keeps that option on the table.”

“What does military action mean, senator?” Cavuto asked.

“Well, military action could mean that we standoff with our ships in the Black Sea and we rain destruction on Russian military capability,” the senator replied. “It could mean that. It could mean that we participate – and I would not rule that out – I would not rule out American troops on the ground. You know we don’t rule out first-use nuclear action. We don’t think it will happen. But there’s certain things in negotiations – if you’re going to be tough – that you don’t take off the table.”

Wicker emphasized that his position was entirely bipartisan.

“To the extent that you’ve had Democrats on the show right before me saying that we should be tougher, I support that and I appreciate that,” Wicker said. “I think they represent the fear that we have, the realization that we have in the Congress, that losing a free democratic Ukraine to Russian invasion would be a game-changer for a free Europe.”

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Biden’s ‘Democracy Summit’ is a Joke, by Ron Paul

The US government has not cared for many decades how democratic a country might be, only whether or not its government toes the us line. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

On December 9-10 President Biden will preside over an online “Summit for Democracy,” which claims it will “bring together leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector to set forth an affirmative agenda for democratic renewal and to tackle the greatest threats faced by democracies today through collective action.”

What a joke. This is not about promoting democracy. It’s really about undermining democracy worldwide with US interventionist foreign policy.

Yes, the conference is anti-democracy, not pro-democracy.

The countries whose elected leaders do the bidding of the United States – disregarding the wishes of those who elected them – are to be favored with an invitation to this “virtual” event. The countries that pursue domestic and foreign policy that is independent from the demands of the US State Department and CIA are not allowed into Washington’s sandbox to play.

Much of the world has seen through the pettiness of such an infantile approach. It is like the fairy tale of the emperor with no clothes. None of the sycophantic foreign leaders graced with an invitation to the banquet dare point out that the US is in the business of undermining democracy overseas, not promoting it.

Color revolutions, where elected governments are overthrown with US backing, is about the only thing the US exports these days. Ask the Ukrainians how their US-backed overthrow in 2014 has worked out for them. Ask any victim of US anti-democratic “color revolutions” about the US commitment to democracy.

For Washington, democracy means “you elect who we tell you to elect.”

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Security Will Ethiopia Become Biden’s Libya 2.0 or a Driver for an African Renaissance? By Matthew Ehret

Ethiopia’s government has shown insufficient subservience to the US government and you know what that means. Regime change! From Matthew Ehret at strategic-culture.org:

The situation in Ethiopia is rather simple to understand as long as you don’t believe western media spin doctors, Matthew Ehret writes.

Many westerners trying to make sense of the events in the “dark continent” of Africa have many barriers standing in the way of their minds and reality. This must be the case, for without such filters of spin proclaiming Africa’s problems to be self-induced (or the consequence of Chinese debt slavery), we in the west, might actually feel horrified enough to demand systemic change. We might come to recognize that the plight of Africa has less to do with Africa and more to do with an intentional program of depopulation, and exploitation of vital resources.

Despite a rich history and over a billion people living on the continent, Africa suffers from the lowest per capita rates of electricity and potable water in the world. Of the 30,000 children who die needlessly each day from preventable causes (disease, water availability, hunger, etc), the majority are from Africa. Living standards are in turn abysmally low for the 340 million Africans who live in extreme poverty while insufficient healthcare infrastructure, and sanitation has resulted in a massive rate of infant mortality that reaches as high as 80-100 deaths per 1000 for many African nations.

To the degree that certain uncomfortable facts are kept obscured, this façade has been maintained.

Recently, a stone has been thrown at the glass artifice of false narratives that has attempted to maintain the belief that Africa’s problems arise from authoritarian governments or “not enough democracy”.

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“We are here to guide public opinion, not to discuss it.” By Simon Black

When politicians expresses their concern for the public, that’s invariably cover for plans to control the public. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

In the year 1804, only a few months before he proclaimed himself Emperor of France, 35-year old Napoleon Bonaparte stood before the State Council to discuss war with Great Britain.

By then Napoleon had already become the most powerful person in France; he had led the Coup d’etat against the previous government in 1799, rigged the approval of the new French Constitution, and fixed his own election to become ‘First Consul’.

And as First Consul of France, Napoleon was essentially a dictator… and one who lusted for conflict.

Napoleon had actually threatened to invade Britain when he first came to power in 1799; plus he had spent the last several years deliberately provoking the British by diminishing their influence on the European continent.

Britain finally took the bait and declared war on France in 1803 as a way to preemptively safeguard their own security; they weren’t willing to sit by and wait for Napoleon to invade.

Napoleon was ready. But he was smart enough to know that he couldn’t do it alone– he would need support. And that meant having the people on his side.

Napoleon had famously little regard for politicians, bureaucrats, clergy, and merchants. But he understood very well that it was the peasants who had risen up against the monarchy in 1789, plunging France into a decade of chaos and revolution.

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US Coverup Of Syria Massacre Shows The Danger Of The Assange Precedent, by Caitlin Johnstone

The New York Times breaks a story on a US military coverup of a massacre, a textbook illustration of the need for and power of a free press. Too bad the New York Times doesn’t see fit to defend the journalistic freedom of Julian Assange. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

The New York Times has published a very solid investigative report on a US military coverup of a 2019 massacre in Baghuz, Syria which killed scores of civilians. This would be the second investigative report on civilian-slaughtering US airstrikes by The New York Times in a matter of weeks, and if I were a more conspiracy-minded person I’d say the paper of record appears to have been infiltrated by journalists.

The report contains many significant revelations, including that the US military has been grossly undercounting the numbers of civilians killed in its airstrikes and lying about it to Congress, that special ops forces in Syria have been consistently ordering airstrikes which kill noncombatants with no accountability by exploiting loopholes to get around rules meant to protect civilians, that units which call in such airstrikes are allowed to do their own assessments grading whether the strikes were justified, that the US war machine attempted to obstruct scrutiny of the massacre “at nearly every step” of the way, and that the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations only investigates such incidents when there is “potential for high media attention, concern with outcry from local community/government, concern sensitive images may get out.”

“But at nearly every step, the military made moves that concealed the catastrophic strike,” The New York Times reports. “The death toll was downplayed. Reports were delayed, sanitized and classified. United States-led coalition forces bulldozed the blast site. And top leaders were not notified.”

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